Just in time for the beginning of the Fall Hunter shows, we’ve finished up our Hunter horse show packing list! Hunters are known for being stylish and well turned out, for we all fear George Morris appearing out of the blue to comment on a poorly placed hair net, an untraditional girth, or an unbraided horse. If you’re competing in recognized and rated USHJA shows, there are some regulations you need to be aware of – so be sure to browse their incredibly helpful and well put-together Rules & Regulations website and make yourself aware of the rules that apply to your classes. Much like in Dressage, whip lengths are regulated in USEF/USHJA shows (not to exceed 30″) and horse boots of any type are not permitted in the show rings. Martingales are regulated, breeches must be buff or cream colored, and in many divisions stirrups must be metal or silver – those trendy black wide-treads are grounds for elimination.
Of course, in such a traditional show ring, it’s very important to make sure your horse is looking shiny, happy and healthy! While good nutrition and a good training program is the only way to truly get a horse to shine, a curry comb and some coat spray does a great job at bringing out the best in your horse’s coat. Be sure to check out our other great horse show tips, collected by Equiflexsleeve fans from around the country!
You can right click on the image below to bring up a full size checklist to print off and keep in your trailer or show trunk. We hope you have a wonderful fall show season!
This past weekend at the Horse Park of New Jersey, the National Standardbred Horse Show took place to showcase the versatility of the breed. With horses ranging from under saddle pleasure horses, English show horses, Western horses, and of course driving classes, it had something for everyone. There were even divisions for “War Horses” for Standardbreds with over 100 starts or $200,000 in career earnings, as well as “Fresh Off the Track” for horses who have raced this calendar year.
We had the opportunity to follow Equiflexsleeve sponsored rider Dr. Jennifer Lowrey and her Standardbred, Striking Mystery, as they showed in classes under saddle as well as in the games division. Striking Mystery, known as Frosty around the barn, is a striking grey Standardbred that stands out from the crowd of common bays and blacks. At over 16 hands tall and 14 years old, he’s got a resume to rival his owners.
Dr. Jennifer Lowrey is, as you may have guessed from the “Dr.” in front of her name, an equine veterinarian, but it doesn’t stop there. She’s also an avid show competitor with several of her horses, included OTTBs, a warmblood, and stock horses in addition to her Standardbreds. On top of that, she is also an active licensed owner/driver/trainer with the United States Trotting Association and one of the few licensed active RUS riders in the US (where riders race Standardbreds at their race trot gait while riding them rather than driving in the race sulky). Knowing that Frosty had raced the Tuesday right before the show, we were excited to catch up with her to hear about her horse, the show, and her opinion of Equiflexsleeves.
After the show, Frosty got to enjoy a bath, a roll in his freshly bedded stall, and then the comfort of his Equiflexsleeves. He had the following day off while Jenn’s other horse showed, and then had the sleeves on to keep him from stocking up during the day in the stall after a long day showing the day prior, and they remained on for the trek home.
When asked how she liked the sleeves Dr. Lowrey said, “Equiflexsleeves did a beautiful job preventing Frosty from stocking up following the National Standardbred Horse Show and during our three hour ship home.” Not to mention how easy they were to put on – Dr. Lowrey was nice enough to let us video her with Frosty in the stall putting on the Equiflexsleeves to show how fast and easy they are to use. At just under 30 seconds a leg, that means you can have your horse done up after his classes in less than 5 minutes – much faster and easier with better, consistent support than any standing wrap can offer!
You can notice in the video the dots on Frosty’s hind legs – that’s from freeze firing, a common practice on the track with race horses (both standardbred and thoroughbred) and after retirement it’s not uncommon to see horses with these marks on their legs prone to stocking up due to poor circulation. We were thrilled to hear that Frosty’s legs were tight and comfortable following his long weekend thanks to help from Equiflexsleeves!
Thanks Dr. Jenn for sharing your story and photos of Striking Mystery with us, and we wish you the best of luck on the track and in the show ring as Frosty gets ready for his next under saddle race next week!
Equiflexsleeves are used by a variety of riders in nearly every equestrian discipline, so we’ve decided to embark on a series of discipline-specific horse show packing lists. If you’re hauling a horse to another premises, there are some things you should have with you at all times – an equine first aid kit is the first thing that comes to mind. Other items are very discipline specific – it wouldn’t serve you well to bring a stock tie and stock pin to a reining competition!
The first list in our series is our Dressage Show Packing List. Dressage shows tend to be fairly simple to prepare for – unlike Hunter shows, you have a set ride time announced a few days before your show, and unlike Eventing, you only need to bring one set of tack. However, the intricacies of Dressage demand a different sort of preparation than other disciplines, and there are some rules that need to be understood before packing up your trailer to head off to a USDF sanctioned competition.
Bits and Whips are two things that are checked on every competitor leaving the sandbox. Your bit needs to be a snaffle bit if you’re riding in a single-bitted bridle, and many bits are illegal, so be sure to check out USDF and USEF’s Dressage Handbook. Whips need to be less than 47.5 inches long, including their lash. We highly recommend reading 50 Way to get Eliminated from USDF to make sure you’re familiar with all of the rules.
Remember, save space in your show trunk and save time on show grounds with a pair of Equiflexsleeves, designed to take the hassle out of traditional standing wraps! Enjoy our printable, downloadable checklist below, and have a good ride!
Equiflexsleeve had such a busy week! Not only were we exhibiting at the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic, but we were also a sponsor at the Kentucky Horse Park for the World Mounted Games Team Championship!! Ponies and riders settled in at the Kentucky Horse Park and teams practiced all week for their chance at a World Team Title. This was the 29th annual IMGA World Teams Championship, and this year the US Mounted Games Association is hosted the event at the Rolex Stadium of the Kentucky Horse Park. Talk about a big-time stage!
This was the first year that the United States hosted the event since 2003. The “home field” advantage went to Team USA and Team Canada, who were able to bring their own games ponies to Kentucky to compete. International teams have been practicing this week on borrowed local ponies who are experienced in mounted games, because importing horses for competition is an expense that would limit many competitior’s abilites to attend the Championships. The host countries ponies are rated so that teams cannot be “stacked”. Competitions began at 9am Thursday and continued throughout the weekend. These games were intense – they involve galloping dismounts, vaulting, speed weaving, jousting, and moving objects from place to place at high speeds.
Equiflexsleeve was also proud to provide the welcoming dinner & microbeer tasting at such a great event. We were excited to watch these talented international riders learn their local ponies and compete in so many games.
We kept up with the games (full games list ) and watched along on the live stream! It was the United States Team that came out as winners – CONGRATULATIONS TEAM USA!!!
Equiflexsleeve was pleased to be a sponsor of the 50th anniversary Cleveland Grand Prix! As a part of the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic, this event is significant to us personally, and to all equestrians in the western hemisphere. Did you know it was the FIRST show jumping grand prix in North America? It was originally held in 1965 at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field – just a few miles from where Equiflexsleeve founder Mary Leibold grew up. While riding at the Hunt Club as a child, she was introduced to the show and spent her summers attending the shows, braiding for others, and enjoying the festivities – so it was a no brainer to debut Equiflexsleeve at the show back in 2012.
The first Cleveland Grand Prix helped launch a new wave of popularity for Show Jumping, and since the very first event, Grand Prix have popped up in all corners of the continent. Mary Chapot and her incredible chestnut mare, Tomboy, were the first winners of the very first Grand Prix. In the following years, many of the world’s best riders took the Cleveland title, including Michael Matz, Rodney Jenkins, Greg Best, George Morris and Bernie Traurig. Margie Engle has won the event an incredible TEN times, including a stretch of seven wins within a ten year period, from 2000-2010.
Equiflexsleeve’s launch was held at the pavilion on the jumper arena in 2012, and we celebrated our one year anniversary at the show in 2013. The 2014 show, sadly, was cancelled, but now they are back – big time! The entire Ohio equestrian community came together to make sure this year was success, and that the show would live on for years to come.
This year, the $50,000 main event went off at 2:30 PM on Sunday, July 12th following an hour of parade and festivities. Huge congratulations to home-town Grand Prix winner Jennifer Waxman aboard Shakira!!!!
It was a fabulous return of the show and we sure saw those Equiflexsleeves out and about!
Last week, we posted an article about horse leg care after a jump school. Today, we’re taking the time to discuss what you should be doing before your ride – stretches and warm ups to make sure that your horse is loose, supple, and ready to begin working.
Any athlete knows that stretching prior to a workout is a good way to get your blood flowing, start to warm up your tendons and ligaments for more rigorous exercise, and to notice any stiff or sore muscles that may indicate a need to change or adjust your routine. The same goes for your horses, and if you add some simple stretches to your grooming and tacking up routine, you’ll be able to help your horse perform better, help keep him safe from tendon or ligament injuries as well as notice any stiffness or soreness that may require further attention.
Many equestrians work “carrot stretches” into their grooming routine. It’s easy to get a horse to bend their neck to their side to follow a treat. We prefer doing several on each side of the horse – one by their shoulder, one at the girth, one by the hip, and have the horse hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds.
One area of the horse that tends to get tight and block movement is the long muscle in front of their shoulder. You can stretch this muscle by lifting your horses’ hoof as if you were to pick it, and then bending their neck to the opposite side. At first, it might take an assistant to help you teach your horse, but once they understand how good the stretch feels, it will become easier to put them into this stretch.
Once your carrot and shoulder stretches are done, leg stretches are next up. First, pick up the leg and stretch it out in front of your horse. It’s easy if you cradle the fetlock in one hand and hold the hoof in the other. Then, just lean back a little and stretch the entire leg straight out. Be careful not to lift the leg too high, you just want it to be slightly bigger than a normal, engaged step would be. Hold this for up to 15 seconds before slowly releasing and setting the hoof down, and then repeat on the other side.
You can repeat a similar stretch with hind legs, and add a small circling of the leg to loosen the stifle, gaskin and hip joint. Not a big circle – just around a little bit – and be careful if your horse has any hind end issues.
Be sure to stretch yourself out, too, with some basic leg, back and arm stretches before you begin your ride.
We recently ran a contest asking our fans for their best #horseshowhacks, or smart tips and tricks to get through show days. Over here, we love using our Equiflexsleeves to save time over standing wraps – plus, they’re safer and give owners and riders peace of mind. Our fans had some great ideas, too! Thank you to everyone who submitted their tip, and we hope the post was helpful to many of you in the middle of show season. We’ve chosen our top eleven, and drew three random winners. Read through and learn some tricks to help make this show season your best one yet!
- Eileen Keller: QuikBraid works way better than human hairspray or hair gel on your own flyaways, and to help tame your hairnet, but be careful not to try to brush it out! It will only come out after a shower.
- Leslie Ann Briggle: Hang a box fan inside a rope hay net to attach it to a stall!
- Susan Jansen Auten: Use waxed upholstery thread rather than yarn for braiding – it’s easier to match colors and braids are tighter and stay in place.
- Amber Sparks: Take a rubber band and run it through itself and your short barrel reins, then over your saddle horn. Reins won’t get tight, you won’t have to lean over while you’re waiting, and the rubber band will break if it needs to. It will help keep your horses from trying to graze while waiting!
- Tammy Taylor: Stick Velcro to your trailer or barn tack room to organize and store your sport boots. Works great and prevents you from digging through bags of show gear to find the boots you need! Great tip for eventers!
- Kenzie Critterden: Use cut pieces of pool noodles for boot trees in tall boots!
- Jamie DeConcini: Bring a pocket hose for water – no need to wrestle dirty, bulky hoses and they store easily in a trailer! While they aren’t as durable as rubber hoses, they should stand up to horse show use.
- Keli Onaleaki: Corn starch or flour works great to get whites whiter before entering the ring.
- Erin Swann: Shave white socks! If they’re clipped, they are much easier to keep clean. Baby powder helps whiten them up before showing as well.
- Taylor Cronk: Pack a spray bottle with diluted bleach to spray your stalls down before making up stalls for the night. Horse shows are a popular place for infectious diseases to spread between horses.
- Kristin Covington: Use ketchup on gray or white tails to remove stains! Let it sit for ten minutes before washing it out – it works great!
Three WINNERS were chosen at random from the above. Congratulations to Kenzie Critterden, Taylor Cronk and Amber Sparks!!! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on claiming your prize!
Many of our fans also suggested having bailing twine, zip ties, duct tape, electrical tape and large diaper pins on hand. The twine, tape and zip ties can help you fix anything, and the pins are great for broken zipper pulls or attaching your numbers. EXTRAS OF EVERYTHING will come in handy for yourself and probably others on the show grounds – extra stirrup leathers, extra reins, extra double end snaps. We don’t think it’s possible to have too many double end snaps! Baby wipes, too. They work great everything, from boots to horse faces right before entering the ring!
As so many of you reminded us, showing doesn’t have to be high pressure, and should be a good time for you, your horse, and your stablemates regardless of placings. Cassie Sprenger put it well: “Count the positives at the end of the day and learn from the mistakes”.
Have a great weekend!
Taking care of your horse’s legs is important every day, but it’s particularly important to have a good equine leg support routine to follow after jumping. Your horse works hard to get you over those fences and nail those distances, and the best way to ensure he remains sound to continue that hard work is to pay attention to his whole body, and in particular, his legs.
Make it a part of your every day grooming routine to run your hands down your horse’s legs and notice any changes – heat, swelling, and puffiness can be a sign that something isn’t right. Otherwise, if all is normal, continue on your grooming and tacking routine, and have a great ride.
It’s good to begin your post-ride care before you’re out of the saddle. Just like a good warmup is important to loosen up the horse’s muscles, a good cool down is essential to feeling how your horse is going to recover. While walking the last ten minutes of your ride, try to notice how your horse feels. Is he tighter than when he started? Are his footfalls even? Is he tired and struggling, or does he have a good amount of energy left? You want to make sure your horse isn’t working too hard in his schooling sessions, because overworking a horse can leave him more susceptible to fatigue injuries.
If all feels right to you, untack and groom your horse as you would normally. Be sure to pick your horse’s feet, and again, feel his legs for any abnormalities.
Cold hosing, or icing legs after a jump workout can help tighten up the legs and cool down any heat left over from working hard. After icing or hosing, apply an alcohol based linimint to help alleviate soreness and promote circulation to your horse’s lower legs.
Finally, spend the next two hours wrestling with pillow wraps and standing bandages, only to find that your wrap is uneven and you really should start again – just kidding! Make your post-ride routine more efficient, quicker, and safer with a set of Equiflexsleeves – the revolutionary new replacement for cumbersome and frustrating standing wraps! Just slide them on over the hoof and set them on the leg. You don’t have to worry about leaving them on too long – unlike traditional standing wraps which immobilize the fetlock joint, and trap heat, Equiflexsleeves allow for normal movement, they dissipate heat, and they allow the leg to breathe. Way more comfortable for your horse, and way more peace of mind for you!
Hello, Equiflexsleeve fans!!
It has been a BUSY few weeks for us! Rolex was a dream – more on that in a minute. First, we’d like to proudly announce that the Equiflexsleeve online store is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Now you can buy the horse leg support products you know and love directly from us. Check it out and be sure to order your Equiflexsleeves today!
Now, onto our Rolex Recap. If you were watching Eventing Nation for news and results, you probably saw something about a selfie toaster and eventing superstar/social media queen, Lainey Ashker.
Maybe you were in Lexington and saw fans walking around in these t-shirts that said… wait, what? They got #toastedwithlainey at Rolex?
Needless to say, EQUIFLEXSLEEVE was behind this hilarious #selfietoast promotion. We enlisted the help of Eventing’s “Selfie Queen”, our sponsored rider Laine Ashker, and we all had a blast! Those who follow Laine on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter (…can you see why we chose a “hashtag campaign”?!) know how hard she’s been working at improving Al’s dressage work, and we were THRILLED when we saw that Lainey and Anthony Patch pulled off a 44.2 in the sandbox! It was Lainey’s best test of her career, at Rolex. So absolutely exciting for everyone at Laine Ashker Eventing! #GoAlGo
Thanks to everyone who came out to support us at our first rolex – we were “sponsor rookies” and we had an amazing time. We were joined by another Rolex Rookie – the “real” kind – in our sponsored rider Elisa Wallace of Wallace Eventing. We knew it would be a special Rolex when we checked in at the bar and saw that Elisa’s horse had a drink named after him. That’s how you know you’ve made it!
Elisa and Johnny had a fantastic Rolex, too, placing 17th, as the highest ranked rookies this year. A top 20 finish at Rolex is a great accomplishment for even the most seasoned Rolex veteran, and we are so proud to see Elisa and Johnny start their Rolex careers on top! Everyone in the eventing crowd will be paying close attention to the rising pair, and you can join in on the fun by watching Elisa’s cross country run via helmet cam.
Overall, Rolex was a great time for us and for our riders and fans. Stay tuned for the next big update from Equiflexsleeve, and in the meantime, keep on shopping, and keep on riding!
This week’s #selfiesunday was submitted by Samantha Silver, who rides and trains with the original #selfiesunday poster on our blog, Laine Ashker! This weekend she was at a show with her horse, and got to try out the Equiflexsleeves and sent us some great fun pictures to use in our blog. Thanks, Sam and we can’t wait to see you at Rolex next week as we cheer on Laine!
Jimmie Echo is a 2003 Pennsylvania bred Thoroughbred with 23 career starts both on the flat and over hurdles. He retired in 2009 and Samantha has owned him since 2010. Echo had surgery in 2011 for bilateral hind suspensory ligament injuries. Since then he had returned to full work and he has competed up to Novice level eventing and first level dressage. Samantha and Echo compete in other English disciplines such as the jumpers, hunters and pleasure. They do all the Thoroughbred shows possible!
Echo must have known he had an awesome new product to try out today because he placed 2nd in the beginner novice division at a local horse trial. After cross country, Samantha watched the instructional video and then put Echo’s sleeves on. Everyone at the show was fascinated and impressed when told what his cute socks actually do!